Change. It’s not just something that ruins my vacuum.
New outlook. New life. New year. Thirty-One.
I always found myself asking this age old question: is change really possible? I didn’t believe that it was. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But now every single day I wake up, I look in the mirror, and I see the face of change staring right back at me.
Now let’s not get all cynical before I plead my case, we all have many circumstances in life that have left us jaded to the idea of change. The cheating boyfriend, the lazy co-worker, the diet that never worked out for you. However, regardless of those things, people change, or perhaps a better word is “evolve”, consistently in their lifetime. I am one of them, as are you, the reader. They just don’t do it in the time frame that others have set out for them. Basically, what I am saying here is that people change, but not for you. They change for themselves. People evolve when their behavior no longer suits them.
I used to think that, to be an exciting person, I had to go out all the time and do crazy things. I always tried be out and about with friends, looking sexy, having drinks at the bar and staying out late. Was I always exciting? No. But that was the image that came to my mind when I thought of “having a life”. It was the goal I always aimed for. “I must be more social because my friends told me I need to be! It will make me happy!” That would be way too simple.
When I was pregnant, I remember being so excited for the days when I could go out with my friends again. When Audrey was first born, I made a lot of attempts to go back to the same person I used to be and still be a great mom. I managed for the most part, to balance my own personal life and motherhood for the first few months. Something that I still find extremely important. That balance was short lived. In the summer of 2013, just months after Squeak was born, my marriage rapidly began to fray, along with my ideals. I felt this huge shift inside me. Like some one had flipped a switch, and all these rusty parts were moving again. Once they started moving, my world began to alter. Some people worked their way out of my life, and others worked their way in. It has been the most painful and necessary phase of my life thus far. I started to realize that I cared about completely different things. In a way, I realized that I had zero clue who I was as a person. I had no real job, no husband, no hobbies I enjoyed, no place to live, and no way to give Squeak the life she deserves. I had a clean slate and nothing to define my life by anymore, aside from, thank you God, a sweet little face to motivate me to get out of bed every day. Who could not be motivated by that face?
Since that summer, it has been a continued process of change, two beautiful years of it. I have spent time refining myself as a person and as a mother. The major dramas with our divorce have worked themselves out, and now the ex and I are just perfecting our existence as separate parents in Squeak’s life.
I decided to not start dating, instead I took a journey inward. I am training my brain to be happy and see negative life experiences as a chance to grow. Brain training is a lot of what happiness is, you aren’t really taught that in life. We are always taught to look outside ourselves for happiness and peace. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Happiness is something you have to actively try to achieve by learning who you are and what makes you truly happy. It’s about cultivating healthy relationships both with yourself and with your friends. It’s not as simple as buying an iPhone 6. For example, I’ve learned I really don’t like to go out that much, I prefer to sit at home and write, or go out to dinner with friends. I’ve also started to really value myself and my time alone. Instead of judging myself and my lifestyle, I just give myself a break and do what I like to do. I recommend that for everyone. If you like to go out, then go out, if you like to stay in, stay in. If you like to be covered in green jello then go for it (just don’t comment on it below).
Regardless of how I appeared on the outside before, I always felt an internal storm. Ambivalence. Always looking outside myself for direction. I felt like my life lacked forward momentum and I was a puzzle piece in the wrong puzzle. That behavior stopped suiting me once I became a single mother. I can’t say how it is with a two parent household, but single motherhood can be VERY STRESSFUL. I have two full-time jobs. One job that pays the bills and one job that consists of preparing a little girl for the world ahead of her. It’s important to have a clear head and handle stress well. Especially when dealing with a two-year old…….gah! Lately, I have learned to really listen to myself. I’ve learned to trust myself and my path. Some days I feel sad and overwhelmed, I accept those feelings, I feel them, and I move on. The goal in everyone’s life is balance. Every human being craves that, whether we know it or not. Paying attention to how you feel will lead you to a more balanced life. Along with that, I’ve noticed I spend way less time judging other people’s decisions, and more time focused on personal growth. I stand firm in my own center. I’ve been focusing a lot on meditation and yoga to help calm my anxieties. I aim for 7-20 minutes a night before bed. Any experienced yogi will probably think I am ridiculous, but hey, it works.
I’ve never been this person before. I think I am a boring adult. Not such a bad feeling after all. Let’s be honest, not everyone fits into the Great American Mold. What works for you is probably not what works with another person, stop judging yourself and comparing your happiness with another person’s. Human beings are not stagnant, they are all different, and they are ever-evolving. Evolve on.